It took one of the darkest moments of local hip-hop artist Tytus’ life for him to see the light.
Once a part of the rising local hip-hop scene, Tytus, whose real name is Ty Smith, saw his presence cut short with addiction to drugs and a prison sentence for nonsupport in 2019. When he got out in October 2019, he vowed to make a change
“When I got out ... I decided to go to the Healing House in Kansas City. I don’t know how else to say it other than I’m a drug addict, and I don’t say that in a shameful way. It’s part of my testimony, when it comes down to it,” he said.
On the verge of marking one year of sobriety, Smith is celebrating his new life with what his brother, rapper Shinedope, is calling a “welcome back” show. It will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, at Cafe Acoustic Concert Hall, 1918 Frederick Ave. Admission is $5.
One of his first times back onstage since getting sober, Tytus said his brother set the the show up as a surprise.
“He kind of surprised me when he told me here a couple months back ‘Hey, you’re going to be on stage Jan. 10,’” he said.
Joined onstage by Shinedope, as well as DJ Krunk, DJ Rudy C and Dub 4/7, the show is as much a reunion of family and friends as it is a concert.
“I know they do support the music and are glad that we’re coming back to do the show. But a lot of those people ... They’re coming out to technically just see us, not even for the music. I think if we were just in the venue without the music, the majority of these people would still come see us, which is definitely the coolest part about it, you know?” he said.
The gesture means a lot to Tytus, who said he’s been blessed by the support, even through the darkest of times. While he’ll be performing songs both old and new, he wants the concert to be a reintroduction to the person he is now.
“I’m getting healthy. I’m getting my body back in the right shape, my mind in the right place ... I’m trying to do what I can to just stay sober, stay focused on what’s important, which is taking care of my family,” he said.
With Tytus’ history of making music and performing with his brother, he said it feels good getting back to basics with him.
“The chemistry is definitely there when we’re onstage and it gets pumped. I know (people) will definitely enjoy the new music, the old music and also just seeing a different side of me, to where I’m actually focused,” he said.
The show is open to everyone 21 years old and older.